Mozart: String Quartets

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From its formation in 1994, the Klenke-Quartett has won accolades for its exceptional performances and polished recordings, particularly of the string quartets of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart on Profil - Edition Günter Hänssler. Violinists Annegret Klenke and Beate Hartmann, violist Yvonne Uhlemann, and cellist Ruth Kaltenhäuser approach these essential but under-played works with a freshness and clarity that make them fully accessible, and deliver performances that balance expressive playing with consummate technical skill, always striving for consistency of sound while maintaining the independence of the parts. This 2019 set of the "Haydn" Quartets and the "Prussian" Quartets offers a comprehensive treatment that especially brings out the intimate and conversational nature of the Classical string quartet, and the repartee is lively and fully engaged. The Klenke-Quartett may disappoint some listeners for seeming reserved, though this supposed deficiency may be due to a common misunderstanding of Classical expression, as opposed to the wider emotional range of Beethoven and the Romantics, which is more familiar to audiences. Even so, the group plays with passion and sensitivity, and the attentive listener will find more than enough evidence that the Klenke-Quartett's approach is well-suited to Mozart. Recorded between 2004 and 2007, these performances were previously released as single CDs, but this five-disc set, released in 2019, is recommended for anyone who missed them the first time.

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